America at war! (1941--) -- Part 2

OPA head faces another probe

House group wants ex-counsel’s records

WAAC Army status approved by House

One-ton bombs rain on Japs in New Guinea

Yanks hit Lae heavily, set fires visible for 75 miles

U.S. bombers keep up raids on Axis bases

Sardinian airfield hit as enemy loses 13 ships; dams attacked

Roosevelt: Allies agreed on war plans

Early blows at Japan believed indicated

Emmons’ post at Hawaii goes to Richardson

New commander says island will assume new role against Japan

Simms: Allies peeved at Davies’ Russian film

By William Philip Simms, Scripps-Howard foreign editor

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

Allied HQ, North Africa – (by wireless)
One day out on a Tunisian hillside, I sat on a box and got a shave and haircut from a soldier-barber. While I was getting clipped, Carol Johnson, who has been over here doing pen-and-ink battle sketches for NEA Service, came along and snapped my picture.

The last time I had a barbershop picture taken was six years ago, up on the coast of the Bering Sea, when I got shaved by the only woman barber in Alaska. I was sitting on a box that time, too. I don’t seem to make any progress in the world.

The soldier who cut my hair was Pvt. Patrick Fitzgibbons, of 315 West 57th St., New York. He has been barbering for 17 years – on ocean liners, in Hollywood, on Broadway. Pvt. Fitzgibbons calls it cutting hair. He says:

I’ve been cutting hair ever since I was 15. You get used to cutting hair, and you miss it if you can’t do it every day.

When I told Pvt. Fitzgibbons I probably would put his name in the paper, he fussed around and spent an extra half hour on me, putting on after-shaving creams, washing my neck, and going over and over the remnants of my hair with his scissors. I think he would probably have given me a bath if I hadn’t kept an eye on him.

Ernie breaks both record

Speaking of baths, I had my first one in six weeks a few days after the Tunisian campaign was finished. That breaks my five-week record of the winter.

I’ve discovered that I’m a guy who can take baths or leave them alone. Certainly, my unsanitary condition didn’t undermine my health, for I never felt better than during those long dirty periods.

We found out one thing about baths at the front – if you don’t bathe for a long time the fleas don’t bother you. Apparently, you either build up a protective coating that they can’t reach through or else you become too revolting even for fleas. Whatever the reason, I know of rash people who took an occasional bath and were immediately set upon by fleas, while we filthy characters sailed along blissful and unbitten.

Some of the boys did find the cleanup process quite a thrilling experience. Will Lang, of LIFE and TIME Magazines, got a haircut and shampoo one afternoon and then went right back next morning to the same shop and got another shampoo. When I expressed astonishment at this unusual procedure he said, why, that was nothing, he’d seen Bob Capa, the Colliers photographer, sit in a chair and get three shampoos, one right after another, each one with a different flavor of soap.

Army takes Volkswagen away

Will and I came back from the front in a jeep, because the Army up and took my little German Volkswagen away from me. The High Command put out a general order that all captured vehicles were to be turned in, so in she went, even though she had been given to me officially.

Upon hearing of the order my first impulse was to take off the tires and bury them, remove the engine, and put a hand grenade under the front seat, just to show the Army they couldn’t do that to me. But after seeing my lawyer I decided the Army probably could do anything to me it wished, so I bowed gracefully and left the Volkswagen sitting in a plowed field for the Army to collect. I didn’t really care. The damn thing would hardly run anyway.

Everybody’s doin’ it

Our jeep was stolen on the way back, but the MPs picked it up after 12 hours. That was a stroke of luck, for stolen jeeps are usually gone forever. Since they’re all alike, it is very hard for the MPs to identify a particular one. Ours was easy, however, because the glass was gone from the windshield on the right-hand side, and we knew the thieves couldn’t do anything about that, for we’d tried to get it fixed ourselves and there was no glass in that whole area.

Jeep thievery has been practiced on such a scale that it’s practically legitimate, I’ve not yet heard of a jeep being stolen right out from under the driver, leaving him riding along in mid-air, but I’ve heard of cases almost as bad. Some friends of mine were standing on a sidewalk and actually saw their jeep driven away by thieves.

In one city, soldiers stole a jeep with “Military Police” painted all over it. And to top it off, an unthinking private stole Maj. Gen. Jimmy Doolittle’s car.

What are you all stealing at home these days?

Maj. Williams: On Gen. Andrews

By Maj. Al Williams

Ernie Pyle wins citation for ‘best war columns’

Millett: Want to be popular now? Then be a timesaver

Once time-wasting was only a nuisance but in wartime, it’s a serious offense
By Ruth Millett

Need of free enterprise is cited by Sloan

Americans do not like regimented economy, GM head asserts

Allen fined $200, suspended 30 days

Penalty for attacking umpire is stiffest ever to be assessed by president Frick

Lasting peace to be possible, Hoover claims

Courageous and realistic approach necessary, he says

U.S. Navy Department (May 29, 1943)

Communiqué No. 394

North Pacific.
On May 27, on Attu Island, U.S. Army troops, in capturing the strong Japanese position on Fish‑Hook Ridge (previously reported as neutralized in Navy Department Communiqué No. 393) fought over rugged and snowy terrain and scaled 60-degree ridges in the face of strong enemy fire. The Japanese positions were entrenched above the cloud line.

On May 28:

  1. The strong point of Japanese defense is centered in the area formed between the north wall of Chichagof Valley, Holtz Bay Pass and Chichagof Harbor.

  2. There is little Japanese activity in the Khlebnikof area except for one enemy position on the ridge east of the north end of Lake Cories. Other parts of the island are devoid of enemy activity.

  3. Air operations were hampered by bad weather.

South Pacific.
On May 28, a force of Avenger (Grumman TBF) torpedo bombers flew in bad weather to bomb Munda on New Georgia Island in the Central Solo­mons. Hits were scored on the runway and in the revetment area. Numerous explosions were observed and fires were started.

The Pittsburgh Press (May 29, 1943)

Yanks blitz Italian port

100 Fortresses bomb oil refinery, 3 ships at Leghorn
By C. R. Cunningham, United Press staff writer

London hears fleet is set for zero hour

Barges concentrated off islands near Italy, Axis declares
By Robert Richards, United Press staff writer

Yanks capture Attu Ridge, tighten trap on Japanese

Center of enemy resistance confined to tiny area west, southwest of Chichagof Harbor

Pay increase made easier by WLB rule

Regional agencies told to use discretion, watch costs

Subsidy halts OPA rollback

Job too big to handle, agency finds

Head-butting may end rows on war tasks

Congress pins faith in Byrnes to silence official squabbling

Farmers increase crops; but what’s next step?

Government doesn’t seem able to provide necessary dehydrators, they complain